Nov 2, 2012 7:29pm
Re: What's the matter, you dissentious rogues? That, rubbing the poor itch of your opinion, make yourselves scabs.
"Yes, I realize that the bill of rights does not apply to Bin Laden. Let's not get distracted by that. The point I was trying to make was about whether Obama needed Congress and/or Pakistan to approve the operation."
No Constitutional protections applied to OBL. Moving on. Approval authority for the operation lies with the Commander In Chief. You are looking at an operation in isolation. My point is that prior to conducting any hostile action in Pakistan - drones, boots, B-2s, submarine launched cruise missiles, reruns of Jersey Shore, scattering naked pictures of Rosie O'Donnell - Congressional approval should have been obtained iaw the War Powers Act. With Congressional approval - green light. Pakistan can eat shit and bark at the moon.
"But you seem to be making a qualitative distinction between a SEAL-led operation and a drone strike. Am I reading that correctly? The SEAL raid on Bin Laden's compound was OK with you even though it constituted an unauthorized act of war against a nominal ally. Correct? Or is one a violation of the WPA and the other not?"
Both are hostile actions against a foreign, sovereign nation. Congressional approval should have been obtained before the first drone strike. Hang that on Bush. Hang it on Obama the second a drone strike was conducted following his inauguration.
"What about this: What if intelligence sources located OBL at the safe house but determined that there were probably US citizens inside the compound with him? You're the president. Do you green light the raid?"
t depends, but probably. Assuming the Americans were hostages - the team that conducted the raid would have been briefed that there were friendlies in the compound. There is no finer or more capable hostage rescue unit in the world. But if the mission is OBL, then hostage rescue is likely a lower priority. Due diligence would be used to ensure that the primary mission would be carried out successfully with reasonable precaution to safeguard the hostages. That said, if OBL was seen reaching for a weapon and there were hostages between OBL and the team, you can bet they would figure out real quick and the team member with the least impeded line of fire would start pink misting.
If the Americans were sympathetic to OBl and Al Quaeda, it gets a little stickier. Arguably, they are committing treason and can be classified as a combatant and therefore it's game on. But there is a deliberative process to determine that that still preserves the 4th Amendment due process rights. However, if they are about to commit hostile action against American forces or citizens then they have by law abdicated their citizenship and protections and can be eliminated along with OBL.
"As it is, there were several other people killed there too -- including women. But those kills are okay? Why? Again, what if he had happened to have a US-born wife or brother? Do you call off the raid?"
Ignoring the War Powers Act requirement for the sake of this question line. Those kills would be justified under the Law of Armed COnflict as anyone else in the house could be reasonably deemed to be an enemy combatant. The Taliban and Al Quaeda routinely strap explosive to 10 year old kids. Most women I know have 8 fingers and two opposable thumbs and are capable of pulling a trigger. If you point a weapon at me, I don't give rat's ass if you sit down to pee. You are going to catch two rounds at the base of the neck, in the little depression just below the Adam's Apple and above the sternum, at the point where the clavicles meet. Us born wives or brothers? Are they still citizens or have they been deemed treasonous iaw US Code and are now legitimate targets? If they haven't, it gets sticky. I wouldn't call off the raid. Again, I would rely on the skill and training of the team.
"What if drones become that much more accurate? What if the technology develops such that they can virtually guarantee that the strike will only take out the intended target?"
Have Congress approve hostile action as required by WPA and build those fucking drones as fast as you can.
"Or is it simply that drones aren't macho enough? I'm afraid I'm not understanding the distinction here. There have been plenty of military operations with dozens of civilian casualties."
It has nothing to do with machismo. For me (and many others including Dennis Kucinich) it's all about the 1973 WPA. There have also been plenty of military operations with tens of thousands of civilian casualties. Warfare has evolved (that's oxymoronic huh?). The indiscriminate carpet and firebombing of Dresden, Tokyo, Osaka, etc. would no doubt be considered war crimes today. Drones, SEALs - whatever. Provided the 1973 War Powers Resolution Act is complied with, along with the Law of Armed Conflict, you use the best combination of weapons systems, personnel, and tactics best suited to accomplish the mission with due regard for limiting collateral damage.
This post was modified by Mandojammer on 2012-11-03 02:29:02